Another Poll Shows Broad Public Disapproval Of GOP Shutdown Strategy
A new National Journal polls shows that the vast majority of the American public disapproves of the strategy that the GOP has taken regarding the government shutdown:
Americans are divided on who deserves blame for the government shutdown, but one thing’s certain: A solid majority thinks it’s wrong to demand changes to Obamacare as a price for reopening the government.
The latest United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll finds little consensus on whom to blame for shutting down the government—38 percent say it’s the Republicans, 30 percent say it’s President Obama, and 19 percent say it’s both.
But public opinion is clearer on the House GOP’s approach: Overwhelmingly, Americans think Congress should fund the federal government and deal with health care separately; and just as strongly, Americans oppose including GOP priorities—even those with which they otherwise agree—in a bargain to raise the debt ceiling.
Half of the poll’s respondents disapprove of Obama’s handling of negotiations over the shutdown, according to results from the same survey commissioned by the Pew Research Center. But congressional GOP leaders still score worse on this measure: 69 percent disapprove of the way they are handling the budget negotiations, while only 19 percent approve. Congressional Democrats fall in between: 29 percent approve and 58 percent disapprove.
Even though roughly half those surveyed in the current poll think the administration is mainly or equally to blame for the shutdown, and Obama and Democrats are underwater on the issue, Americans—by a vast ratio of more than 2-to-1—disapprove of the House GOP tying the future of the Affordable Care Act to funding the government or raising the debt ceiling.
The poll shows that 65 percent think “Congress should provide the funding to keep the government operating and deal with the health care issue separately.” Just 24 percent think the House “is right to fund the continuing operations of the federal government only if Obama agrees to delay or withdraw his health care plan.”
The numbers are similar when it comes to the debt ceiling:
Following other questions about ways to reduce the country’s deficit and the perceived ramifications of failing to raise the debt limit, poll respondents were told that congressional Republicans “say they will only agree to increase the federal debt ceiling if President Obama accepts their proposal on other issues.” Interviewers then asked about four GOP policy proposals—some of which have been found to be popular in previous surveys—but respondents said they opposed including every one of them in a debt-limit agreement by at least a 2-to-1 ratio.
Numbers like this, no doubt, will cause Democrats to dig their heels in further. What impact they will have on Republicans is anybody’s guess.